Last week I was asked to participate in the National Day of Prayer on the grounds of the state capitol in Richmond, VA. My role was to pray for the centers of business in our nation. Below is the prayer I prayed.
Prayer for the Business Community
O Lord hear our cry - we are a nation known for our economic might and power, may we be a people known for our economic generosity.
Forgive us for putting profit above people, forgive those of us who profess Jesus Christ for replacing the sign of the Cross with the sign of the dollar.
O Lord, we repent of the copout excuse, “It’s just business,” for with You nothing is “just business.” We acknowledge that on the Day of Judgment that the term “It’s just business” will be an indictment rather than a justification.
O Lord hear our prayer – that economically we are a sinful people, with economic ghettos from which there is little hope of escape.
Let us not be as the rich man in the Gospel who wanted to build more storage units to store his wealth – but let us be like Jesus, who for our sake became poor. Let us not be like the rich young man in the Gospel who would not surrender his wealth to follow Jesus, but let us be like Zacchaeus, who freely surrendered his wealth and life to Jesus Christ.
Lord we pray that the centers of business will be centers of service to humanity; that the centers of business will see themselves as stewards of labor and talent and equity and justice and mercy.
Lord we repent that we’ve checked our Christian witness at the office and factory and retail door – choosing to follow the commandments of men rather than the commandments of God. We repent that as employees we have often chosen to “just get by” when Your Word tells us to serve our employers as we would serve You. We repent that we have not loved our coworkers, nor prayed for them, nor put their welfare above our own.
Oh Lord, unshackle us from the prison of economic idolatry and set us free into your Kingdom of generosity. Forgive us for our idolatry, forgive us for the copout of saying, “It’s just business”.
Be Lord of the workplace, Lord of the marketplace, Lord of the employer – employee relationship, be Lord of our lives. Lord, hear our cry.